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Archive for December, 2014

A Drizzle of Zombies

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A Drizzle of Zombies (The Annals of Absurdity – 1) by Joshua Price

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Four unlikely heroes. One absurd undertaking.

Like any good supervillain, Dr. Malevolent robs banks, but when the incompetent Captain Rescue intercepts her latest heist, they accidentally trigger a most undeadly threat: zombies! The two sworn enemies must band forces to save the world, dragging along the perfect allies: a shotgun-toting cop, and… a bunny?

The group ventures to the heart of the undead sea to discover who wants to annihilate humanity. Because zombies are only the beginning. Dun dun dun.

The flood starts in… A Drizzle of Zombies.

The story starts out with Dr. Malevolent robbing a bank. The evil genius has though this through and with some bumbling idiot lackeys has robbed the bank. But then Captain Rescue steps up and tries to stop her, mind you Captain Rescue is another bumbling idiot that wins through dumb luck. There are no skills, just expensive gadgets.

But the lackeys have discovered a strange green goo from the robbery. What they don’t know is that it makes zombies and these two are the first ones. The zombies multiply like rabbits and it is up to Captain Rescue and Dr. Malevolent to save the world. Ok, that’s a lie, Dr. Malevolent to save the world and try to keep Captain Rescue from becoming a zombie or worse.

This story is funnier than hell. The villain is the smart one that saves the day and learns that she likes doing so. The hero is an idiot and it’s impressive that he hasn’t killed himself. But the best part is the big pink bunny.

This is a great humor story. You will be laughing all the way through it. I can’t wait to read others stories from Joshua Price.

I received this book for free from the Library Thing Early Reader Program.

For more information on A Drizzle of Zombies or to purchase it, make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Library Thing.

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I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!

And what better gift on Christmas than a book, and I have just the story for you. I posted about it a while ago when it was released but here is the review.

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Santa’s Little Helper by HD Gordon

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) He shows up in a white box, with a bright red book under his arm… He wears a jolly grin and hat, a suit with gold bells and green yarn… He watches you for Santa, or so his red book claims… But though his grin is jolly, he’s not here for fun and games…

The children have been chosen, such precious little souls they are… And may the Gods be with them, if they wish to make it very far… For Santa’s Little Helper does not say, but knows important things… He knows when you’ve been bad or good, and what monsters stalk your dreams… He knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you’re awake…He’s picking out his presents…He’s got some souls to take.

Four children, ages 5, have received a little box with a book and an elf in it. The book explains that the elf is Santa’s Helper. That he watches the children and reports back to Santa if they are good or bad. But this is not what you are thinking. This elf has nasty little teeth and eats those that are bad. All the children come from different backgrounds and home lives. But this story is also told from the parents and how the elf gets them too.

First off, every time I see and Elf on the Shelf I get creeped out. Think creepy elf with more bite. Ugh!! I love how you get to see everything from the different perspectives of the children and the parents and how the families are all diverse. All of the children think the elf is bad and don’t want to have anything to do with it but they are all stuck.

If you like the creepy, Stephen King, like stories you will love this. Because it has those creepy elves from shelves in it just makes it better. This is a great story that would be a great addition to every Christmas season.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

For more information on Santa’s Little Helper be sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads.

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Solstice

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Soltice by Jane Redd

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Four ways to get Banished from the last surviving city on earth are: 1. Cut out your emotion tracker, 2. Join a religious cult, 3. Create a rebellion against the Legislature, 4. Fall in love.

Jezebel James does all four.

Jez is on the fast-track to becoming a brilliant scientist, with one goal—to save her city from total extinction. Her caretakers have entrusted her with a secret plan to stop the rain from flooding the rest of the earth and start civilization anew. But the more Jez learns about the price of a fresh beginning, the more she realizes that carrying out the plan will lead to few survivors, and among the dead will be those she cares about the most.

This is a story written by author Heather Moore for a contest on the Swoon Reads website. This story has not been published and is in a contest to get it published.

The world has changed in the future. It rains all the time and the government has taken control. The people have emotion trackers and they are divided into levels for if they can marry, have children, and what jobs they are assigned. Jez works in Level A, a higher level. She is trying to find a way to make it stop the rain.

But she has a secret, her emotion tracker doesn’t work right for her and she has more feelings that she has to try to hide. These feelings along with loving Sol and inheriting her grandmothers journal, books are not allowed along with learning about the past, help guide her to find out what is really going on.

I really liked this story. I got sucked in right away and just wanted to help Jez. She is in such a tough position. I couldn’t image having to hide my emotions just to stay safe. I loved the relationship with Sol. I had to get to know him a little better but then I couldn’t wait for scenes with him.

This is a great dystopian story. I really hope it gets published because I can’t wait to find out what is going to happen in the next books.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

For more information on Soltice be sure to check out Goodreads or get a Swoon Reads account and be sure to read Soltice here.

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Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue (Kitty Hawk – 3) by Iain Reading

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Following in the footsteps of her hero Amelia Earhart, Kitty Hawk sets off on an epic flight around the world and arrives in Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik where she finds herself immersed in a beautiful alien world of volcanoes, Vikings, elves and trolls. Before she knows it Kitty is plunged head first into an amazing adventure that sweeps her across a rugged landscape where humans and nature exist side-by-side in an uneasy truce and magical realms seem to lie just out of sight beneath the surface.

Kitty is off again on her around the world flight. This time she lands in Reykjavik, Iceland. While taking in the local sites, she is drawn to the possible sabotage of an aluminum smelter. It’s hard to tell if it is local corrupt government officials, environmentalists, or elves. But Kitty is there to get things straightened out all the while exploring Iceland.

I just love this series. Kitty is such a strong character and able to get herself into and out of situations. I also love the descriptions of where she is at. It makes me feel like I’m right there next to her and the volcano.

This book seemed to start out a little slower than the last two, but there is so much more action in it. I love all the extra information at the end of the book or additional reading but I really enjoyed the discussions of elves and trolls.

This is a great series that anyone of any age would enjoy. I do think you could read the books as a stand alone with how they are written. But I recommend reading them from the beginning. Hurry and make this one series that you will keep and pass along.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

For more information on the Kitty Hawk series or to purchase Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue be sure to check out Amazon and Goodreads.

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Late Fight On

FightOn (1)I can’t believe that I lost track of time. This was supposed to be posted yesterday and I’m so sorry that I missed it.

 Fight On (Camryn Cruise #3) by Brina Courtney

RELEASE DAY BLITZ

December 21, 2014

FightOn

Camryn Cruise is not human. But she will fight to protect those who are.

Kiley is her best friend. And now there’s Finn. Finn with his blue eyes, and his long eyelashes. Finn makes Camryn’s heart stop. She has to decide to not stop for him though. The Sick are coming and if they get inside the walls of Silverlake war will be inevitable.

Death is everywhere.

HAVEN’T READ THE FIRST BOOK IN THESERIES?

CHECK IT OUT BELOW!

Runaway

Camryn Cruise is not human. But she doesn’t know what she is. Not yet.

The world is falling apart and her only escape is Camp Silverlake where she frequently stayed as a child. But Camryn’s summers weren’t filled with crafting and swimming, they were spent learning combat skills and how to protect herself from the outside world.

Now she must return to Camp Silverlake to learn the truth, about who she is and she’ll discover the secret hidden within her blood. A secret that could save them all.

BUY IT ON AMAZON

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The Last Prizefighter

The Last Prizefighter

The Last Prizefighter by James Classi

5 stars

 

(Excerpt from Amazon) On a 20X20 boxing ring in the belly of Madison Square Garden, Tommy Farrow defends his title for the WBO championship belt against Jeffrey Johnson. Near the end of the 10th round, a solid left hook to Farrow’s head drops him to the canvas, killing him instantly. Thus begins an adventure into hell and a race against the clock.

Farrow must rescue the soul of a writer who dies only seconds before him. The writer, Robert Scalia, has been hijacked by demons through a passage into purgatory called the Hellmouth.

In the future, Scalia is supposed to write a tell-all book that will prevent a madman from becoming the President of the United States…a madman that will eventually cause a nuclear war.
If Farrow can rescue Scalia from hell, he and the writer will be put back into their bodies at their times of death and be allowed to give life another shot; but if he fails…the world as we know it will end.

The timer is set. Get ready to rock.

Tommy Farrow dies and begins an adventure into hell to save Robert Scalia, a writer that could prevent the end of the world as we know it. But this is not a simple, straight forward fight. This is the hardest one Tommy has even taken on and it’s looking like he might not win.

I loved this book. I am a huge fan of thrillers and horror and this book is that and so much more. You can’t help cheering for Tommy and encouraging him to win. But when you think he might just win, he has not even begun to fight.

This book will such you in from page one and will keep you up all night to finish it. I love the description and a whole new story than you will have read before. I can’t wait to read other stories from James Classi.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

For more information on The Last Prizefighter be sure to check out Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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I’m happy to say that I have a guest post today from author D.J. Donaldson. I love his Andy Broussard/Kit Franklyn mysteries and have shared my opinions on several of them. But there is more to this series than the books that I have reviewed. Cajun Nights is the first in the Andy/Kit series and it was almost a TV series. Read on to find out more.

CAJUN NIGHTS AND THE CHARACTERS WITHIN:

THE MANY LIVES OF A TV SERIES THAT NEVER WAS

by D.J. Donaldson

LIFE #1

Cajun Nights was my first novel featuring New Orleans medical examiner, Andy Broussard, and his suicide/death investigator, Kit Franklyn. A few weeks after the book was published, I got a call from my agent with the surprising news that, “There’s been a flurry of movie and TV interest in your book.” I’d never considered that such a thing was possible. So that was one of the best phone calls I ever had.

Subsequently, a production company headed by the former director of programming at CBS took an option on the series, planning to shape it into a TV show. As perhaps some of you know, this phase of things is known as “development hell”, because it takes a very long time to make anything happen. So a year went by with no news. I figure, okay, the thing is dead. But, the producers renewed their option for another year, which meant I got paid again. It wasn’t a lot of money, but with that check, I’d made more money from the two option years than the advance I was given on the book by the publisher.

So more time goes by with no news. Now, I’m not even thinking about it anymore. Then, while I was attending a scientific meeting in Dallas, I got a call from the agent in Hollywood who was handling the dramatic rights. CBS had agreed to pay for a pilot screenplay. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but if this guy had tracked me down in Dallas just to tell me that, it must be a big deal. And guess what… I got another check as an advance on the screenplay even though I wasn’t gonna write it. I was beginning to love the agent who created that contract.

They chose as a writer someone who’d had several movies produced. That may seem like something not worth mentioning, but I’d read an article once that said it was possible to have a career as a screenwriter and never have anything produced. (Yeah, I don’t quite get that either, but it sure seemed like the writer we had, was the better kind.) With her experience and success, I was sure we’d get a great screenplay.

A few months later, a package arrives in the mail. IT’S THE SCREENPLAY. I’m so excited, I quickly skim the enclosed letter from the producers: “Read this over and tell us three things you don’t like about it.” That’s ridiculous, I’m gonna love it. After all, it was written by a pro.

Well, I hated all of it. The writer didn’t seem to “get” the relationship between Andy and Kit. I couldn’t believe it. The books show that non-romantic love is possible between an unrelated man and woman of greatly differing ages. Though he can’t admit it, Broussard loves Kit like the daughter he never had. Kit loves Broussard like a father, even though she has a father. How do I boil all the things I hate down to just three items? Somehow I manage and send my reply back.

As it turned out, the producers didn’t really care about any of my thoughts. Was I upset? Not really, because I figured they know TV, I don’t. And… surprise, when they gave the script to CBS, I got another check. Now I definitely love my agent.

The producers are sure the script will be approved and we’ll soon be shooting a pilot. They invite me to watch them film in New Orleans. They say they’ll even find a bit part for me. They predict that the series will run for ten years. And they should know. Their show, Cagney and Lacey, ran for seven seasons. Now I’m excited.

But… later, I get another call. CBS didn’t like the script. And they didn’t want to see a rewrite with the same story. The producers asked me if I had any ideas. The screenplay was based on the second book in the series. When I got this call I was sitting at my desk looking at the rough draft of book number three. I pitched them the story and they said, “Send us a copy by overnight mail.” This was back before manuscripts could be sent by e-mail. (I know, I can hardly remember those days myself.)

So another screenplay was written, which didn’t fare any better than the first. Thus life #1 of my hoped-for TV series went to a quiet demise.

LIFE #2

A few years later, while I was at the Kentucky book fair promoting book number five in the series, a young blonde fellow bought a book. We spoke for a few minutes and he moved on. Later, back in Memphis, I get a call from this guy. He wants to option the series for TV. I tell him about my earlier experience with the other producers, who failed, but he’s unfazed. We strike a deal. There’s talk about John Goodman playing Broussard. John Goodman… he lives in New Orleans and he’d be a great fit. I love it.

Within a few weeks the producer calls to say he’s on his way to Memphis and could I meet him and John Goodman’s “best friend,” at the Peabody Hotel. (The Peabody lobby is where William Faulkner and his mistress used to have drinks.) The meeting takes place and I give the best friend a copy of the latest book, which he assures us, will be in John Goodman’s hands within twenty-four hours. That was the last time I ever heard from him or the producer. So I guess the deal is off.

LIFE #3

In my primary occupation, I taught medical and dental students microscopic anatomy. One day I get a call from a former dental student. He’s now a part-time actor who’s been in a couple of notable films. He says that he and a long-time Hollywood promoter have formed a production company and are looking for material. He remembers that I wrote a few novels and wonders what I’ve been doing since he last saw me. I talk about my work and send him some books.

Very soon thereafter he calls me again and says he and his partner “are on fire over these forensic books.” They believe the series would make a great TV SERIES. He asks me who I’d like to play Broussard. I tell him I’ve always believed Wilford Brimley would be perfect. Incredibly, my former student says that his partner had lunch with Wilford just last week. He’s sure they can get him to sign on. With an actor of Wilford’s stature attached to the project, we’ll surely get a deal.

Was all this talk about Brimley just smoke? No. Because they actually got him on board. And what’s even better, my former student and his partner were working with another producer who had a development deal with the Sci-Fi network. They planned to present my series to the network three weeks hence, focusing on the real and apparent paranormal aspects of the first two books.

On presentation day at the Sci-Fi Network my student calls me just before they go in. I wait anxiously the rest of the day to hear how it went. Years later, I’m still waiting. The only contact I’ve had since presentation day is a big envelope from the producer who had the development deal. In the envelope is a bunch of stuff I wrote for the presentation along with a note from the producer that says, “Sorry we couldn’t have worked longer on this together.”

LESSON LEARNED

Early in the machinations of the first development deal, I used to caution myself not to spend any time thinking about how great it would be if every week I could watch my characters living and breathing on a TV show. My thinking was that if I kept a tight rein on my expectations, it’d be much easier on my psyche if things didn’t work out.

But then I realized I was missing out on the excitement of the possibility. Why not let my mind run with it? Then, even if none of the deals came to fruition I would still have the pleasure of being part of a great endeavor. So that’s what I did. And now, even though I never played that bit part in a pilot and I’ve never seen John Goodman or Wilford Brimley bring Broussard to life, I sure had a lot of fun along the way.

(By the way, if you’re a TV/film producer, the rights are available.)

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(Excerpt from Goodreads) Imagine investigating a case where each of the several victims had type O blood, drove an obsolete car, and hummed a nursery rhyme before committing murder and then suicide. That’s young criminal psychologist Kit Franklyn’s assignment and the solution just seems plain impossible. Her obese, jovial boss, chief medical examiner Andy Broussard, is just as baffled as she is. Together, they devise strictly scientific possibilities. Not once do they consider black magic to be the culprit until an ancient Cajun sorcerer’s curse surfaces, “Beware the songs you loved in youth.”

For more information or to purchase Cajun Nights be sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Goodreads.

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